LEEDS may have lost its unwanted tag of being one of the country’s worst burglary hotspots, new figures have revealed today.
The city now only has one postcode, the LS16 area covering Adel, Bramhope and Eccup, in a national top twenty based on burglary claims made to an insurance comparison site.
Last year five Leeds postcode areas featured in the list compiled by MoneySuperMarket and the LS13 zone covering Bramley had the highest rate of claims in the entire country.
The new statistics come as official police-recorded crime statistics show a 12 per cent fall in domestic burglary rates and a seven per cent drop in non-domestic burglaries across West Yorkshire.
According to the annual burglary claims tracker produced by MoneySuperMarket and based on data from 3.1 million home insurance queries in the last year, it is now London rather than Leeds that dominates the top twenty list for burglary claims.
LS16, the only Leeds postcode to feature, is eighteenth in the list. The rate of theft claims per 1,000 enquiries to the website by residents is 27.6, way below 45.2 in the M21 postcode area of Manchester, which is in top spot.
The LS13 postcode, which last year had the highest number of theft claims at a rate of 34.8 burglary claims per 1,000 enquiries, has now dropped out of the top 20 altogether after the rate fell to 21.6. The overall rate for the whole of the Leeds postcode area fell from 19.5 last year to 16.4.
Kevin Pratt, home insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Just because somewhere is named a claim hotspot it doesn’t actually mean the area in question is not a nice place to live.
“Thieves often target areas with wealthy residents and desirable properties where the rewards are potentially greater or quieter areas where they think there is less risk of being caught red-handed.”
POLICE bosses hailed a 4.3 per cent fall in overall crime to 163,843 offences in the year to September compared with 171,144 in the previous 12 months.
But despite the drop in overall crime recorded by the force, a fall above the national average, West Yorkshire’s crime rate of 74 offences per 1,000 people is still the highest outside London.
The accuracy of police crime statistics was thrown into doubt last week after they were stripped of an official “gold standard” mark by the statistics watchdog amid mounting concern they were being “fiddled”.
West Yorkshire Police chief constable Mark Gilmore said: “I am pleased that overall crime continues to fall significantly throughout West Yorkshire, with greater reductions than the national average.
“Colleagues, partners and communities have worked hard together to achieve these results, with notable success in key areas.”
He added: “It is crucial to get crime recording right not just in terms of public confidence and holding officers to account, but also because accurate data helps us understand the real or underlying problem and enables us to determine how we tackle it effectively.”
PUBLICITY about the activities of high profile sex offenders such as shamed Leeds-born DJ Jimmy Savile is thought to be one of the reasons for a dramatic rise in recorded sex offences in West Yorkshire.
The number of sex crimes recorded by the county’s police force rose by 65 per cent to 2,956 in the year to last September, according to new figures published yesterday, compared with 1,788 in the previous 12 months.
The increase in recorded offences is the highest in England and Wales, dwarfing the 17 per cent rise seen across the country as a whole and the 39 per cent increase in the Yorkshire region for the same period.
West Yorkshire chief constable Mark Gilmore said the rise was driven by ‘high profile, historic sexual offence cases’ which have led to more victims coming forward. He said: “This is a positive outcome for all, meaning many vulnerable victims can now receive the full support and justice outcome they so deserve, with many victims being now able to report offences that happened years ago.”
He added that the success of the force’s recent Know The Signs campaign had also contributed to the increase.
WEST Yorkshire was one of the few areas of the country to see an increase in bicycle thefts, according to yesterday’s police-recorded crime figures.
A total of 2,251 bike thefts were reported in the year up to September, a four per cent increase on the previous 12 months’ total of 2,163.
On average, bicycle thefts fell by seven per cent in forces across the country, while in the Yorkshire and the Humber region there was a one per cent fall.
According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, released alongside police figures by the Office for National Statistics and based on interviews with crime victims, crime against households and adults in England and Wales fell 10 per cent in the year to September.